Last20 to test plastic-infused asphalt in New York

Last20, a Canadian social enterprise, will partner with the Yonkers Department of Public Works to test asphalt made with recycled plastics.

The plastic-infused pavement will be tested by the Department of Public Works as part of the Westchester Innovation Network, a program launched by the Business Council of Westchester County, N.Y.

“We are excited to introduce New York to Last20’s innovative solution that upcycles plastic waste into pavement,” said Last20 founder Lauren Barnes, whose company will also test its pavement with the Regeneron pharmaceuticals company on a parking lot at its Greenburgh, N.Y. campus.

Last20 replaces a portion of bitumen, the common binding agent in traditional pavement, with low-density polyethylene, one of the hardest plastics to recycle. India has been upcycling plastic waste into pavement for almost two decades, but it hasn’t been until recently in 2018 that pilots have been initiated in other parts of the world, and in cooler climates.

The company says that North American testing, with its wide temperature variations, yields useful data for future development of the technique. Recent pilot projects in North America, conducted by other organizations, include a parking lot at at a Meijer supermarket, and Durham Region in Ontario is paving a section of road.

Last20 developed its first trial batch of pavement in Brantford, Ontario, in 2021 with partners CTA Lab, King Paving and Gedco. That trial upcycled over 600 lb of plastic into asphalt.